"On mine arm shall they trust."
In seasons of severe trial, the Christian has nothing on earth that he can trust to, and is therefore compelled to cast himself on his God alone. When his vessel is on its beam-ends, and no human deliverance can avail, he must simply and entirely trust himself to the providence and care of God. Happy storm that wrecks a man on such a rock as this! O blessed hurricane that drives the soul to God and God alone! There is no getting at our God sometimes because of the multitude of our friends; but when a man is so poor, so friendless, so helpless that he has nowhere else to turn, he flies into his Father's arms, and is blessedly clasped therein! When he is burdened with troubles so pressing and so peculiar, that he cannot tell them to any but his God, he may be thankful for them; for he will learn more of his Lord then than at any other time. Oh, tempest-tossed believer, it is a happy trouble that drives thee to thy Father! Now that thou hast only thy God to trust to, see that thou puttest thy full confidence in him. Dishonour not thy Lord and Master by unworthy doubts and fears; but be strong in faith, giving glory to God. Show the world that thy God is worth ten thousand worlds to thee. Show rich men how rich thou art in thy poverty when the Lord God is thy helper. Show the strong man how strong thou art in thy weakness when underneath thee are the everlasting arms. Now is the time for feats of faith and valiant exploits. Be strong and very courageous, and the Lord thy God shall certainly, as surely as he built the heavens and the earth, glorify himself in thy weakness, and magnify his might in the midst of thy distress. The grandeur of the arch of heaven would be spoiled if the sky were supported by a single visible column, and your faith would lose its glory if it rested on anything discernible by the carnal eye. May the Holy Spirit give you to rest in Jesus this closing day of the month.
"If we walk in the light, as he is in the light."
1 John 1:7
As he is in the light! Can we ever attain to this? Shall we ever be able to walk as clearly in the light as he is whom we call "Our Father," of whom it is written, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all?" Certainly, this is the model which is set before us, for the Saviour himself said, "Be ye perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect;" and although we may feel that we can never rival the perfection of God, yet we are to seek after it, and never to be satisfied until we attain to it. The youthful artist, as he grasps his early pencil, can hardly hope to equal Raphael or Michael Angelo, but still, if he did not have a noble beau ideal before his mind, he would only attain to something very mean and ordinary. But what is meant by the expression that the Christian is to walk in light as God is in the light? We conceive it to import likeness, but not degree. We are as truly in the light, we are as heartily in the light, we are as sincerely in the light, as honestly in the light, though we cannot be there in the same measure. I cannot dwell in the sun, it is too bright a place for my residence, but I can walk in the light of the sun; and so, though I cannot attain to that perfection of purity and truth which belongs to the Lord of hosts by nature as the infinitely good, yet I can set the Lord always before me, and strive, by the help of the indwelling Spirit, after conformity to his image. That famous old commentator, John Trapp, says, "We may be in the light as God is in the light for quality, but not for equality." We are to have the same light, and are as truly to have it and walk in it as God does, though, as for equality with God in his holiness and purity, that must be left until we cross the Jordan and enter into the perfection of the Most High. Mark that the blessings of sacred fellowship and perfect cleansing are bound up with walking in the light.
Today's reading: Psalm 132-134, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 (NIV)Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 132-134
A song of ascents.
1 LORD, remember David
and all his self-denial.
2 He swore an oath to the LORD,
he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 "I will not enter my house
or go to my bed,
4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes
or slumber to my eyelids,
5 till I find a place for the LORD,
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob."
Today's New Testament reading: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
Correcting an Abuse of the Lord's Supper17 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval. 20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, 21 for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. 22 Don't you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!
[Mētho̅o̅'se lah] - a man of the javelinor it shall be sent (deluge). The son of Enoch, and grand-father of Noah, who lived longer than any other man recorded in history (Gen. 5:21-27).
The Man Who Lived the Longest
The Bible represents human life as vastly prolonged before the Flood. Afterwards it grew rapidly briefer. The longevity of the antediluvian races proves that the constitution of man was different from what it is today. With the Flood a change took place so that now the duration of human life is rarely over one hundred years. No strength of constitution, temperance or vegetable diet can add years to such a limit. The instructive register of Genesis five shows that the man who lived for the shortest period lived for 365 years, and the one who lived for the longest period lived for 969 years.
The remarkable longevity served a useful purpose in that it made possible the reception and preservation of ancient traditions. Perhaps Adam lived for about 113 years after the birth of Methuselah, and Methuselah could not have been more than 369 years old when his grandson Noah was born. Thus, Noah conversed with one who had conversed with Adam and Enoch had the privilege of conversing with Adam. God knows how to preserve His truth for the guidance and sanctification of succeeding generations.
Although Methuselah, whose name was fitting for a time when the earth was full of violence, lived for almost a millennium, nothing whatever is recorded of his long life save the birth of his children. What an immense influence he could have exerted through the years if only, like his father Enoch, he had walked with God! It is not the length of a life that counts, but thequality of it.
Why did Methuselah die thirty-one years short of a millennium? Has God reserved the privilege of living for one thousand years for the millennial saints? During our Lord's millennial reign, life is to be prolonged again, so that one hundred years shall be the duration of childhood, and a grown man's ordinary age shall be in the age of a tree (Isa. 65:20, 22).